Hangovers: Why you get them and how to fight them off - CNN - Canada News Media
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Hangovers: Why you get them and how to fight them off – CNN



More commonly known as a hangover, this unpleasant phenomenon has been dogging humanity since our ancestors first happened upon fermentation.
Those nasty vertigo-inducing, cold sweat-promoting and vomit-producing sensations after a raucous night out are all part of your body’s attempt to protect itself from injury after you overindulge in alcoholic beverages.
Your liver is working to break down the alcohol you consumed so your kidneys can clear it out ASAP. But in the process, your body’s inflammatory and metabolic reactions are going to lay you low with a hangover.
As long as people have suffered from hangovers, they’ve searched in vain for a cure. Revelers have access to a variety of compounds, products and devices that purport to ease the pain.
But there’s a lot of purporting and not a lot of proof. Most have not been backed up well by science in terms of usefulness for hangover treatment, and often their effects don’t seem like they’d match up with what scientists know about the biology of the hangover.

Working overtime to clear out the booze

Hangovers are virtually guaranteed when you drink too much. That amount varies from person to person based on genetic factors as well as whether there are other compounds that formed along with ethanol in the fermentation process.
Over the course of a night of heavy drinking, your blood alcohol level continues to rise. Your body labors to break down the alcohol — consumed as ethanol in beer, wine or spirits — forming damaging oxygen free radicals and acetaldehyde, itself a harmful compound. The longer ethanol and acetaldehyde stick around, the more damage they can do to your cellular membranes, proteins and DNA, so your body’s enzymes work quickly to metabolize acetaldehyde to a less toxic compound, acetate.
The morning after: What people around the world eat and drink to beat a hangover and where to order it
Over time, your ethanol levels drop through this natural metabolic process. Depending on how much you consumed, you’re likely to experience a hangover as the level of ethanol in your blood slowly returns to zero. Your body is withdrawing from high levels of circulating alcohol, while at the same time trying to protect itself from the effects of alcohol.
Scientists have limited knowledge of the leading causes of the hangover. But they do know that the body’s responses include changes in hormone levels to reduce dehydration and cellular stress. Alcohol consumption also affects a variety of neurotransmitter systems in the brain, including glutamate, dopamine and serotonin. Inflammation increases in the body’s tissues, and the healthy gut bacteria in your digestive system take a hit too, promoting leaky gut.
Altogether, the combination of all these reactions and protective mechanisms activated by your system gives rise to the experience of a hangover, which can last up to 48 hours.

Your misery likely has company

Drinking and socializing are cultural acts, and most hangovers do not happen in isolation. Human beings are social creatures, and there’s a high likelihood that at least one other individual feels the same as you the morning after the night before.
Each society has different rules regarding alcohol use, which can affect how people view alcohol consumption within those cultures. Drinking is often valued for its relaxing effect and for promoting sociability. So it’s common to see alcohol provided at celebratory events, social gatherings and holiday parties.
In the United States, drinking alcohol is largely embraced by mainstream culture, which may even promote behaviors involving excessive drinking. It should be no surprise that overindulgence goes hand in hand with these celebratory social events — and leads to hangover regrets a few hours later.
What to eat to beat a hangoverWhat to eat to beat a hangover
Your body’s reactions to high alcohol intake and the sobering-up period can influence mood, too. The combination of fatigue that you experience from sleep deprivation and hormonal stress reactions, in turn, affect your neurobiological responses and behavior. As your body is attempting to repair itself, you’re more likely to be easily irritated, exhausted and want nothing more than to be left alone. Of course, your work productivity takes a dramatic hit the day after an evening of heavy drinking.
When all is said and done, you’re the cause of your own hangover pain, and you’re the one who must pay for all the fun of the night before. But in short order, you’ll forget how excruciating your last hangover was. And you may very soon talk yourself into doing the things you swore you’d never do again.

Speeding up recovery

While pharmacologists like us understand a bit about how hangovers work, we still lack a true remedy.
Countless articles describe a variety of foods, caffeine, ion replenishment, energy drinks, herbal supplements including thyme and ginger, vitamins and the “hair of the dog” as ways to prevent and treat hangovers. But the evidence isn’t really there that any of these work effectively. They’re just not scientifically validated or well reproduced.
For example, Kudzu root (Pueraria lobata), a popular choice for hangover remedies, has primarily been investigated for its effects in reducing alcohol-mediated stress and hangover. But at the same time, Kudzu root appears to inhibit the enzymes that break down acetaldehyde — not good news since you want to clear that acetaldehyde from your system quickly.
Lyaness: How the world's best bar reinvented itselfLyaness: How the world's best bar reinvented itself
To fill this knowledge gap, our lab is working with colleagues to see if we can find scientific evidence for or against potential hangover remedies. We’ve focused on the benefits of dihydromyricetin, a Chinese herbal medicine that is currently available and formulated as a dietary supplement for hangover reduction or prevention.
Dihydromyricetin appears to work its magic by enhancing alcohol metabolism and reducing its toxic byproduct, acetaldehyde. From our findings in mice models, we are collecting data that support the usefulness of dihydromyricetin in increasing the expression and activity of enzymes responsible for ethanol and acetaldehyde metabolism in the liver, where ethanol is primarily broken down. These findings explain one of the several ways dihydromyricetin protects the body against alcohol stress and hangover symptoms.
We are also studying how this enhancement of alcohol metabolism results in changes in alcohol drinking behaviors. Previously, dihydromyricetin was found to counteract the relaxation affect of drinking alcohol by interfering with particular neuroreceptors in the brain; rodents didn’t become as intoxicated and consequently reduced their ethanol intake. Through this combination of mechanisms, we hope to illustrate how DHM might reduce the downsides of excessive drinking beyond the temporary hangover, and potentially reduce drinking behavior and damage associated with heavy alcohol consumption.
Of course, limiting alcohol intake and substituting water for many of those drinks during an evening out is probably the best method to avoid a painful hangover. However, for those times when one alcoholic beverage leads to more than a few more, be sure to stay hydrated and catch up on rest. Your best bet for a smoother recovery is probably some combination of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen, Netflix and a little downtime.
The Conversation

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GTA private schools issue warning after parents say they were on same flight as coronavirus patient – CTV News



Two private schools in the Greater Toronto Area have expressed concerns after learning that some parents were on the same flight as a Toronto patient who was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Ontario health officials confirmed on Saturday that a male in his 50s, who had recently travelled to Wuhan, China, had been hospitalized at Sunnybrook Hospital due to possible coronavirus, which is known as 2019-nCoV.

On Monday, officials said that the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg had confirmed the case and said the man’s wife, who was on the plane with him, may also have the illness.

Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said the case is “presumptive” and that the woman is in self-isolation at her home.

Earlier this week, the principal of Richmond Hill Montessori School (RMHS), located near Yonge Street and 16th Avenue, issued an “emergency order” asking any families who have travelled to China to keep their child home for 15 days after they return to Toronto.

“Kindly note, the same 15 day quarantine applies to any RHMS family who may have come in contact with individuals travelling to Toronto from China or any other countries or cities to be known to have confirmed Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases.”

On Sunday, the day after the first possible case of 2019-nCoV was made public, the principal issued a statement saying that a parent of a child at the school was on the same flight as both patients—China Southern Airlines flight CZ311.

“Since then, members of this family have been at RHMS despite our Emergency Order. This parent is not the person being held at Sunnybrook Hospital,” the letter said.

“Please be advised that although this parent was on the same flight, the family has informed us that this parent does not show any symptoms as of this time. We have been advised that this parent has quarantined themselves away from their immediate family and that the family has also quarantined themselves until Feb. 07, 2020 as a precaution.”

Richmond Hill Montessori School

Toronto Montessori School (TMS), near Bayview Avenue and Highway 7, also released a message to parents on Sunday informing them that two separate parents were on flight CZ311.

“Both parents self-identified to York Region Public Health and are in close communication with them for their recommendations,” the school said. “As a precautionary measure, they will be quarantining themselves for the recommended 14-day period to ensure the safety of themselves and others.”

The children of both parents will be kept home as a precaution, the school said.

Toronto Montessori School

The York Region District School Board has said that they are following the advice of health experts, who have advised them that “additional protocols at schools are not necessary and that the risk to Ontarians remains low.”

The Toronto District School Board has not posted an update on their website about the coronavirus since Jan. 24.

Speaking with reporters on Monday morning, Ontario health officials said that if parents are concerned, they should contact their primary care doctor or local public health agencies for advice.

“There are still lots of repertory illnesses out there. There is a lot of influenza-type illness,” Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said. “Our rules are still the same. If your child is ill, keep them at home.”

“The same things that schools do now … cleaning toys and stuff like that, is what they do on a regular basis especially around this time of flu season. It’s business as usual.”

Over the weekend, the principal of Somerset Academy, a private school in Markham, sent a letter home to parents saying that families who travelled to Asia will not be permitted onto the property for a minimum of 15 days from the date they landed in Canada.

School officials asked for proof in the form of boarding passes or stamped documents before kids are allowed in the classroom.

Meanwhile, other parents have signed an online petition titled “stop the potential spreading of the novel coronavirus in schools of York Region.”

In the petition, the author recommends schools track students who recently travelled to China and asks those families to stay isolated for at least 17 days.

More than 2,700 cases of 2019-nCoV have been confirmed around the world and at least 80 people have died in China as a result of the illness.

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Wife of Canada's first coronavirus patient tests positive; 19 under investigation – Nasdaq



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The wife of Canada’s first confirmed patient with the fast-spreading Wuhan coronavirus also has tested positive for it at an Ontario laboratory, and 19 other suspected cases in Canada are under investigation, public health officials said on Monday.

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No reported cases of coronavirus in Ottawa – CBC.ca



Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is bracing for the arrival of coronavirus, but so far no cases have been reported in this city.

Health officials have identified a second presumptive case in Toronto after the wife of a man believed to be Ontario’s first presumptive case of the virus began showing similar symptoms. Officials say the woman has been in “self-isolation” since arriving in Toronto, while her husband remains in stable condition in hospital.

Officials continue to identify people who may have come into contact with the couple on their flight from China, but OPH says it hasn’t been informed of any in Ottawa.

According to Ottawa’s medical officer of health, health officials here are already taking precautions.

“When people present with a respiratory illness … they are screened for their travel history, especially considering any contact with the Wuhan city or provinces nearby in China, any contact with ill people who have been in Wuhan,” Dr. Vera Etches told CBC.

“People are getting the message: when they return from a country or area that is affected, to monitor themselves for symptoms of a respiratory infection.” 

Symptoms includes fever, cough, runny nose and shortness of breath, Etches said.

Phone ahead

Etches said anyone who believe they may have been exposed to coronavirus and is showing symptoms should phone ahead before arriving at the emergency room.

“We’ll walk them through the process … if it looks like they should be tested for the new coronavirus,” Etches said.

So far, no tests have been ordered in Ottawa.

Dr. Vera Etches is Ottawa’s medical officer of health. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

“Right now, this is very low-risk still for transmission of this new virus in Canada. So, it’s very unlikely that someone would come in contact with the virus here,” she said.

Nevertheless, Etches cautions people to wash their hands frequently, and to refrain from touching their eyes and nose. Viruses are often contracted by coming into contact with mucous membranes.

Masks unnecessary

There have been reports of people in Ottawa buying up medical masks, likely to ship to family in China, but according to Etches, “here in Ottawa, there is no reason to wear a mask if you’re well.”

Wearing a mask likely won’t prevent a healthy person from getting sick anyway, Etches said.

“They’re not fitted. Air can get around them. People touch them, they touch their eyes, the environment. It gives a false sense of security. So really, the main thing is, keep your hands clean.” 

Etches also urges people to check reputable sources, such as the Ottawa Public Health website, for up-to-date information on coronavirus.

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